From: Spa Secrets,
Charmaine Yabsley looks at treatments inspired by Mother Nature, from crystal therapy to salt caves.
Ever since the Greeks first slathered themselves in mud and the Japanese discovered the soothing qualities of hot natural springs, people have turned to the earth's natural resources to pamper and cure themselves. Today, natural treatments are becoming more popular than ever — and not without good reason.
While many drugs have side affects, a recent report by the educational charity Women's Environmental Network revealed many beauty products may contain ingredients that can impair fertility, increase the effects of ageing and have links to cancer, allergies and other distressing health problems. However, most of these ingredients — including parabens — can be avoided if you opt for organic, naturally-derived products and spa treatments.
As most of us become increasingly aware of what we put into — and onto — our bodies, natural remedies that won't harm our skin or our environment are undoubtedly the way forward with new facilities such as salt rooms popping up in the UK. Indeed, the number of people looking for such therapies has increased dramatically in the past 10 years and, in Britain alone, the industry is worth around £130 million annually. So why not follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and try a treatment which uses elements derived from the earth? After all, you'll be treating your body with products it will naturally respond to, rather than trying to induce a chemical change, and natural treatments will also help you connect with your mind, body and soul.
So if you're feeling stressed, under the weather or simply in need of a pick-me-up, it's time to book yourself a treatment. One way to select the best one for you is to speak to a spa manager — they're qualified in tailoring treatments to suit your needs. In the meantime, here are four of the hottest natural remedies to give you a taste of what you can achieve if you unleash the power of Mother Nature.
Alternatives include Rasul mud rooms which involves you (or a therapist) slapping on different types of mud and sitting in a warm, steamy, room while the mud works its miracles.
Did you know... The skin is the body's largest organ and its main point of absorption for everyday toxins. Up to 60% of ingredients in body products will be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Hot Stone Massage
You may also be given a warm stone to hold in each hand to help 'ground' you, depending on the practitioner's way of treatment. The therapist will then massage your oiled body with a stone using light, repetitive strokes, gradually applying more pressure if necessary.
Keeping this in mind, always try to book an appointment for late in the day to achieve the full benefits. Many hot stone treatments, such as LaStone Therapy, a trademarked style of hot stone massage, also incorporate cold stones to help soothe, reduce swelling and puffiness. Be sure to discuss with your therapist what you hope to obtain from the massage so that it can be tailored to your needs.
Insider Tip... Don't be shy to say if the stones are too hot for comfort! Also remember that even if your main aim is to reduce muscle tension, this treatment can cause your body to detoxify. Drink as much water as possible pre- and post-treatment and avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours afterwards.
Once the therapist has decided on the best crystals to use, you'll lie on a massage table, concentrating on your breathing, while various crystals are placed on your 'chakras' — the energy meridians in your body. It's believed crystals can help to unblock or energise these meridians. It is not uncommon to feel weepy or emotional during this time, so go with the flow!
The treatment usually takes around 30 minutes, during which you'll listen to soft music or just lie still. Some therapists will discuss any emotions or physical feelings that may have arisen for you during the treatment and prescribe crystals to place around the home.
Did you know... Each crystal supposedly has its own healing properties to influence a person's emotions or energy levels. Here's some suggestions on what could work for you.
The cave resembles an igloo — white walls and a bone-white beach-like ground — but the air is dryer than usual, which is due to the dry saline diffuser. Patients usually sit within the cave for one hour listening to relaxing music.
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